DAVID MOYES admits Everton could have done with the potential home comfort of Boxing Day’s postponed Goodison Park game – and he concedes that he faces a tough task to snap up a striker that can bring guaranteed goals in the January transfer window.
The Everton boss prepares his side for a challenging string of three matches on the road, disappointed his team did not have the chance to revitalise their home form in the league this season by beating Birmingham City, while also maintaining the feel-good factor after last week’s morale-boosting win at Manchester City.
But those burst water pipes at Goodison on Christmas Day mean there has now been a nine-day gap since Everton’s last game, and Moyes is determined to ensure his players keep their focus against a buoyant West Ham this afternoon.
Phil Jagielka, John Heitinga and Steven Pienaar have all benefited from the extra rest, however, and are closer to possible selection against Avram Grant’s relegation-troubled side.
Moyes said: “I hoped that we could bring it back to Goodison. At Goodison we haven’t given the supporters an awful lot to shout about and to be fair the supporters have been quiet too.
“Boxing Day is a good family atmosphere and I wanted us to keep it going but there’s nothing we can do.
“To play three games away from home in the Premier League in a row is a tough ask. It’s a difficult period we are in right now. We trained yesterday afternoon.”
Moyes admitted he is facing an equally tough task as he prepares to enter the loan market in January’s transfer window, but insisted he needs to inject goals into his team somehow.
He said: “I’m looking for something to happen. I need goals. We are going to lose Tim Cahill who is the third top scorer in the Premier League, which is a great record. He goes in a couple of games’ time.
“We could do with an addition but where do you find a striker in the January window who you are going to get for no cash and on loan who is going to make a difference? It’s going to be difficult.
“You will always bring players in who you hope to be involved in the squad but in the main we are now trying to bring players in that are going to go straight into the team.
“In the last five or six years we have hardly been out of the top seven. To get players in what we want for value is really difficult for us now.
“I think we are as attractive as we have ever been. We have a good team and really good players. We have shown that on several occasions this year but not enough. We haven’t been consistent enough. We’ve come back to it a lot of times, but taking more of our chances would have made a big difference. If good players are out there and don’t think they are involved enough, we would be interested.”
Meanwhile, Leon Osman is a slight doubt for the 5.30pm kick off at Upton Park tonight after suffering a bout of sickness, but Moyes will be able to call on the services of Mikel Arteta once more after the Spaniard completed a three-game ban.
He said: “I am looking for him to step up.
“We know Mikel can play better and he knows it as well,” added Moyes.
“His form will come back, there’s no doubt it will return.”